There are many trails across the globe today to identify an effective treatment for people suffering from severe Covid-19. Drugs that could make a difference are now being identified. This article provides information on the progress made worldwide on Covid-19 treatments.
What Work Is Being Carried Out To Find An Effective Treatment For Covid-19?
Today, over 150 drugs are being researched in different countries and companies such as Fleet Bioprocessing, across the globe. Most of them are existing treatments being trialled against the coronavirus. In fact, the United Kingdom is running one of the largest clinical trials in the world known as “Recovery.” Over 12,000 patients are taking part in this trial, and this is one of the very few trials to provide a definitive view on which drugs do and don’t work. On the other hand, the WHO or World Health Organisation is conducting the Solidarity trial to find promising treatments for the pandemic. Multiple pharmaceutical companies are also running their own trials to find out the effectiveness of their drugs.
All these trials are being conducted on three broad approaches such as:
. Antiviral drugs that have a direct effect on the coronavirus’ ability to thrive in the human body
. Drugs that calm the immune system – in fact, severe Covid-19 symptoms are caused due to the patient’s immune system overreacting and damaging the cells of the body
. Antibodies to target the virus – they are taken from a survivor’s blood or made in the laboratory
Different drugs will work better at different stages of the illness. For example, antivirals will work at the beginning while immune drugs work at a later stage of the condition. Combinations of treatments will also be investigated.
The Only Life-Saving Drug
Dexamethasone is the only drug that has been proven to save lives out of all the drugs that are being trialled currently. This is a significant breakthrough in the fight against the virus. The Recovery trial in the Uk shows that the drug reduces the risk of death by a third for the patients who are on ventilators and by at least a fifth for those on oxygen. Dexamethasone is considered a steroid that helps calm down inflammation – part of the immune response – in the body of the patient. This drug is cheap and could be used across the globe to treat patients. But the drug doesn’t work on patients who have milder symptoms.
The Other Promising Drugs
Remdesivir is another promising antiviral that was initially developed to treat the Ebola virus. Clinical trials involving more than a thousand patients have shown that the drug cuts the duration of Covid-19 symptoms from 15 to 11 days. Although studies are continuing, the drug doesn’t seem to save lives. The United States has purchased almost all of the supply of this drug. The manufacturer Gilead has also donated from of the supplies to South Korea. Interferon beta is a protein made in the human body to reduce inflammation, and it is used to treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
Synairgen – A UK-based company – will be delivering the drug to Covid-19 patients’ lungs directly using a nebuliser. The initial research shows that the drug cuts the odds of a patient being hospitalised after developing severe disease. But larger trials are still needed to prove the effectiveness of the drug.
Can A Survivor’s Blood Treat Coronavirus?
People who have survived a Coronavirus infection should have antibodies in their blood. These antibodies can attack the virus. The method is to extract blood plasma – that actual part that contains the antibodies – from patients who have recovered. The plasma will be given to a sick person as a remedy.
How Long Until An Effective Cure?
Since we don’t have a cure for common colds and similar infections, we may never get an effective cure for Covid-19. But there is one treatment that works and others look promising at the moment. In fact, completely new coronavirus treatments are being tested in the labs. But they are still not ready for human tests.